Welcome to the first in a series of blogs to celebrate our 'People Month' – celebrating the people and culture of Kyan. We sat down with our QA Engineer Thari, to find out a little more about her and her role, and how it felt to join a company during a lockdown.
Hey, Thari. So let’s get straight to it. Tell me a little about your career before Kyan.
So, I started my career as a trainee test analyst about nine years ago in Sri Lanka. I was also studying for my bachelor’s degree and it was a challenging time. Juggling my studies and my work wasn’t easy, but over time I became better at multitasking. I got to work with and try out many different digital products across banking, ecommerce and healthcare and this really helped to expand my skills and knowledge.
After a few years working as a trainee, I was promoted to Associate QA and then QA. My final job before moving to the UK was as a senior QA engineer for a digital agency in the Netherlands. I was there for a year and a half, and then upon getting married in 2019, I moved here and began working for Babylon Health – again, as a QA engineer.
That was initially a challenging role for me as I went straight into testing a fairly serious artificial intelligence component called the Symptom Checker – the company’s flagship chat bot. Normally as a QA, I work alongside product managers, business analysts or developers. But here I was working with clinicians. I’m sure they won’t mind me saying this – clinicians don’t have as much technical insight into a platform or technology as a product manager does. But they have incredible knowledge around healthcare and medicine. So I came at this project with a slightly different approach, and obviously there’s an increased pressure to get it right as we are dealing with triage outcomes where there is little room for error.
Our work became more crucial during covid, and we had to pivot to include new features and symptoms. There were a few sleepless nights. But it was all worth it, as we were the first company to integrate covid symptoms into a health check AI system.
What initially attracted you to the idea of working at Kyan?
I actually checked the website first, and saw some of Kyan’s recent project work. Baking Mad really caught my eye because I love baking. But I also enjoyed the variety of projects and how you’re not focused on one particular sector or technology. The mix of clients and applications made me feel that I could learn different things, and as a person who loves a challenge, that was really attractive to me.
The other reason was culture. I think everyone should do their research when looking for a new role. So when I saw such positive Glassdoor reviews, I found that very helpful, and I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s positive experiences of working at Kyan. Specifically, the friendly and supportive culture. Now that I am working here I can see that it’s all true. It’s important to me to work for a company where I can be close with my co-workers.
What specific things from your background are you looking forward to bringing into Kyan?
Something that I really believe in is working together as a team. Teams are the linchpin to successful businesses, and teamwork comes easily to me as I am a friendly person by nature. There are times when I and others need to focus on a particular task and we will work alone, and that’s okay. But outside of that, proper teamwork is key, and personally, I want to be seen as a productive and dependable colleague.
You joined us right in the middle of a lockdown, so your onboarding was a little different to how things usually go at Kyan. How was that for you?
My first few weeks at Kyan were great. Despite being remote, I still received a really warm welcome from Nick, Piers and Amy J. All of my technology requirements were sorted out for me on day one. I had the chance to meet every single member of Kyan virtually. The best part of it was that despite some people being so busy, they still took the time out to chat to me. Nobody said no to me and that was touching.
My buddy experience was also brilliant too. I was paired with Dave ‘DC2’ Cocks as my onboarding buddy, and he was really consistent in asking me if I needed anything and if I was settling in okay. Any time I had questions, he downed tools and we hopped on Zoom for a quick chat. He’s superb.
And finally, when it comes to signing off from work for the day, what are your other hobbies and interests?
Even outside of work I still get excited by the application of AI or AI components in the day-to-day tools we use. I find it amazing what can be done with data and I am fascinated by algorithms too.
We’re always on the lookout for people like Thari. We are a technology agency that is truly powered by people, and we’ve recently been named ‘number one best place to work’ by Best Companies and a ‘best place to work’ by Campaign. Take a look at our careers page to see our current openings.
We are Kyan, a technology agency powered by people.